People are more likely to say that they enjoy a particular wine if they believe that it’s expensive, a new study suggests.
Named ‘Price information influences the subjective experience of wine: A framed field experiment’ and published in the journal Food Quality and Preference, the study reports the possibility that perception of cheap wine could be altered.
During a tasting event held at the University of Basel in Switzerland, psychologists altered the prices of wines from their true cost. 140 blind tasters were given three versions of 2013 Italian red wine, with each labelled as “low-, mid-, or high-price,” and costs ranging from $10 to $70 per bottle.
Some wines featured were listed as their true price, while others had no price tag.
When the blind tasters were given a cheaper wine that they were told was four times more expensive than its true cost, researchers found that drinkers rated the beverage as more “pleasant” than the actual more costly bottle.
Researchers said that the study showed:
“The cheapest wine was rated as more pleasant when presented as fourfold of its actual retail price. No effect was found when decreasing the price label of the expensive wine by a fourfold
“Thus, in wine may lay the truth, but its subjective experience may also lie in the price.”
However, as wine critic for The Times Jane MacQuitty said, wine tasting is a complex business that takes years of training. It should come as no great surprise, then, she wrote, that the novice tasters used in this study rated a “simple, fruity Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ahead of a more austere, bordeaux-aping duo.”
Elsewhere in the world of wine, Château Latour has unveiled the 2013 vintage of its Grand Vin, and it’s priced at €355 ($420 USD) per bottle ex-négociant, €5 more than the 2012’s release price. Last year, when the iconic Bordeaux first growth launched its 2012 vintage, it marked the first time Latour released a wine as mature stock.